The fennel tomato sauce is very versatile. As Mary Ann suggests, it can be used as a side vegetable dish, over baked fish, or even as a topping for pizza. And according to Mary Ann the exquisite flavor is due to one key ingredient…sugar. I must say I agree!!
Chicken Cutlets with Roasted Fennel and Cherry Tomato Sauce
3/4 pound of penne or short-cut macaroni, cooked al dente
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (washed) 1 bulb fennel 3 tablespoons oil, divided 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
3 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 chicken breast halves skinless, (cut each breast in half to make 2 cutlets)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the minced garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Rub the mixture into the chicken and let marinate for 1/2 hour.
Remove the outermost layer of the fennel bulb and discard. Cut the bulb in half so that each half retains part of the stem end. Cut each half into 8 thin wedges so each wedge is held together by a little piece of stem.
Put the fennel, tomatoes and garlic halves into a large baking pan. Toss them with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then give the vegetables a stir and arrange the chicken pieces in the pan with the vegetables.
Cook for about 17 to 20 minutes more until the chicken is done and the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.
Place chicken on a serving platter. Toss the fennel tomato sauce with the cooked pasta and serve along side the chicken.